today's other readings are Hebrews 7: 25 - 8: 6 and Psalm 40
When a scene is overly chaotic and there are lots of things going and coming at the same time, in our culture we describe it with a simple summary: "It's a circus!"
Well, it sounds like a real circus was happening in today's gospel. After the news spread like wildfire about this new guy on the block named Jesus, it sounds like thousands have come to see Him, some of whom have travelled great distances. Being familiar with the topography around the Sea of Galilee, I can picture in my mind how Jesus is literally in physical danger. With the big hills on one side and the lake on the other, with a narrow bit of flat land in between, He is danger of being trapped or pushed thrown into the lake by the pressing crowds.
What are they there for? Sadly, in my mind, very few are there to hear Him. Maybe a small number are there hoping to be healed of some illness. But the vast majority are there to see "a show". To see miracles performed, miracles that are becoming quite famous. Thus a mob mentality is in full force.
On the other hand, I can't help but think of the attitude of the disciples. They are there because they have made a conscious choice to follow Him, to learn from Him, and hopefully to become the person that they believe God wishes them to be.
This is a very unusual story of a "circus scene", one that few of us have experienced, thankfully. The question remains for us, when we first came to Jesus, what were we hoping for?